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Author Topic: Press Release: Fotolia Launches PhotoXpress  (Read 26712 times)

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« Reply #50 on: May 23, 2009, 05:39 »
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Can somebody explain me...

What are these images in Photoexpress, 50 cents unsold files  or rejected but exquisite images?


To clarify, None of my unsold images are opted in for the 50 cent offer that was announced recently, my images on photoxpress are images that I opted into the free section as I uploaded them (i.e. I donated the rejected images)


Now...

I'd not seen that PDN interview until now, Why was the statement "Lor says contributors will be paid when their images are downloaded from the new service, but wouldnt say how much, noting that it varies depending on the source of the images" not in the press release? or sent to us all via the site email? I understand if it's an experiment, and if they earn nothing from photoxpress then we won't get anything, that's fine, they are exploring new ways to earn from the arse end of the market and I think that's a good thing, BUT there should have been more transparency!

Instead of we heard that clap trap about "They struggle to find high-quality, affordable images for their company brochures"... yeah 5 million images for a couple of dollars does make life hard for some buyers ;)


« Reply #51 on: May 23, 2009, 06:56 »
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I like the "creative professionals"  <- professional can't afford $1

re quality - I looked at backgrounds and textures, lots of garbage but there is the coffee beans, parchment papers, brick walls, wood textures a bit of wading through the garbage and there is some decent stuff (sounds like my portfolio LOL) - a few years ago the micro's were just considered full of garbage.


« Reply #52 on: May 23, 2009, 12:38 »
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Using the PDN article, I started a thread in FT forum.

http://www.fotolia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=206316#p206316

Maybe they can explain us something good that we fail to see.

« Reply #53 on: May 23, 2009, 22:00 »
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This is going to shock you I know, but I'm going to play devil's advocate :)

I never opted to have my images offered for free when submitting them originally.  When the offer was presented to sell the right to offer my images that have remained unsold for 2 years or more to an unknown free site for $.50 each I balked and waited.  When I looked at my unsold images I realized 2 things...

1:  I had a crapload of unsold images after two years.  Somewhere around 1,000
2:  Most of those unsold images were unsold for a reason.  The low acceptance rate gripes you find today, you did not find 2 years ago as some of you may recall.  Most images were rejected because they had a date stamp in the corner or something.  If I had to guess, I would say 75% of the photos I had in the "unsold" category would not be approved today. 

So with no gun to my head and absolutely no idea where my photo's would end up I opted to sell the pics for $.50 a pop.  I took the $500 I was paid for them and spent it with no qualms whatsoever.  It would be a bit hypocritical for me to get worked up about it now.  I read the word "donate" when referring to offering their images for free.  I was paid.  If you were not and you opted to give your images for free originally..I'm sorry, but that's on you.  The only incentive I can see to do that would be to simply have bragging rights that your images may be used by somebody somewhere for something.  I would rather get paid. 

If there are 350,000 images available that means they paid $175,000 for them.  I can't help but think there must be some thought that has gone into this as to a tangible return. 

Mat

« Reply #54 on: May 24, 2009, 00:39 »
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This is going to shock you I know, but I'm going to play devil's advocate :)

I never opted to have my images offered for free when submitting them originally.  When the offer was presented to sell the right to offer my images that have remained unsold for 2 years or more to an unknown free site for $.50 each I balked and waited.  When I looked at my unsold images I realized 2 things...

1:  I had a crapload of unsold images after two years.  Somewhere around 1,000
2:  Most of those unsold images were unsold for a reason.  The low acceptance rate gripes you find today, you did not find 2 years ago as some of you may recall.  Most images were rejected because they had a date stamp in the corner or something.  If I had to guess, I would say 75% of the photos I had in the "unsold" category would not be approved today. 

So with no gun to my head and absolutely no idea where my photo's would end up I opted to sell the pics for $.50 a pop.  I took the $500 I was paid for them and spent it with no qualms whatsoever.  It would be a bit hypocritical for me to get worked up about it now.  I read the word "donate" when referring to offering their images for free.  I was paid.  If you were not and you opted to give your images for free originally..I'm sorry, but that's on you.  The only incentive I can see to do that would be to simply have bragging rights that your images may be used by somebody somewhere for something.  I would rather get paid. 

If there are 350,000 images available that means they paid $175,000 for them.  I can't help but think there must be some thought that has gone into this as to a tangible return. 

Mat


From what I understand, there are photographers that opted rejected photos into the free section that are now on the new site, so Fotolia didn't pay anything for all those photos....that would make the $175,000.00 way off - it would be much lower.  Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong though.

« Reply #55 on: May 24, 2009, 03:17 »
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Your link to PDN at the Fotolia forum was removed.

Using the PDN article, I started a thread in FT forum.

http://www.fotolia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=206316#p206316

Maybe they can explain us something good that we fail to see.

« Reply #56 on: May 24, 2009, 08:45 »
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Your link to PDN at the Fotolia forum was removed.

I wonder why public information is censored.  And I wasn't offensive.  And no admin gave answers to the questions. Tell me about hypocrisy. ::)

Mat,
Since you were the person who edited my post, maybe you can explain it to us?

As snaprender said, not all images there were paid for.  Everyone who gives images for free sections expect some positive side effect - more views to his portfolio, eventual sales from them.  In PhotoXpress, there is no copyright information - this is highly unnacceptable to me. 

And there is no link at all at even to FT.  You probably know that in SXC every search result shows also results from StockXpert, in order to attract potential buyers to what are probably much better images.  THAT makes sense. 

What kind of interest FT has in simply giving away images?  And if you consider YOUR observation, FT spent a lot of money buying people's low quality images, and now they simply give these images?

And what about the statement in PDN article: "Lor says contributors will be paid when their images are downloaded from the new service, but wouldnt say how much, noting that it varies depending on the source of the images."  This is NOT real, is it?  People who sold their old images for 50c or even gave them upon rejection will never earn anything, right? 

Regards,
Adelaide

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #57 on: May 24, 2009, 08:56 »
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OK, I'm a high school teacher with an insatiable wish for images and no way of buying them except out of my own pocket. The few times I've been desperate enough to try that, I haven't found anything suitable.
But for free, I can satisfice, and often do that at Microsoft Clip Art anyway.
So I followed the link and signed up.
Firstly, you can only get 3 downloads until you give them a lot of personal information, including your mobile phone number. Hell, only my husband, my sister and my parents know my mobile number - I don't even know it. Forget that.
It's a big con, though. Before I discovered that you have to type in your mobile number (it's hidden until you get to that bit, which is the last field) I had typed in the other info, as vaguely as possible. But I bet they have that info when I clicked on the 'click here to get your registration number', which was the only way to find out that you must give them your mobile number.
Well, even three downloads is better than nothing. Think about the first lesson I'll be doing on Tuesday morning and look for a suitable image. First of all, the keywording and/or search engine is pretty useless, but at last I found an image I could use. Click to download it. 404 not found error, but they system says I've had one download. Try again, still 404 not found error, so I haven't downloaded anything, but I'm still only showing as one download.
Try another search. Search results are totally bizarre, and 6 search pages later, I haven't got what I want.
I don't think you need to worry about too many people downloading your images for free.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 15:35 by ShadySue »

« Reply #58 on: May 24, 2009, 11:20 »
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If there are 350,000 images available that means they paid $175,000 for them.  I can't help but think there must be some thought that has gone into this as to a tangible return.

Harvesting and monetizing personal data?

I just registered, under an anti scam and anti spam disposable email address of course. There is a total absence of any privacy statement on the site as to email and personal data. In other words, your data can (and probably will) be sold to "subsidiaries", included spammers and obnoxious "advantage" sites. PhotoXpress qualifies itself by this practice as a borderline personal data harvesting site.
Quote
By using this Website you acknowledge and agree that PhotoXpress may, in its sole discretion, preserve or disclose your personal information to its subsidiaries and/or parent companies for commercial purpose

You will get "free photos", yeah right. Three to be exact. Then you have to fill in your personal data (which can be faked) but you will have to fill in your cellphone number to receive the activation code and to have the chance to obtain "more" pictures (how many? 3? 2? 1?). Right.

(not a problem here where you can buy off the shelf anonymous sim cards from any small convenience store for 0.10$ - but how can they protect the authors by such a scheme?)

This actually looks like a shark site that will harvest your data and pass those to "subsidiaries" that can be anything, included more sharks. The authors are the prime victims. I would urge nobody to give his real cellphone number since I have been victimized before by telecom sharks that drained my simcard dry (luckily it was a prepaid card) by sending unwanted SMS that were 0.5euro every time. And no way to stop them.

I can't imagine that a serious site like Fotolia and a cofounder of iStock lend themselves to such a sharkish scheme. Are they that desperate?

Now the funny news:
They can terminate your account at their sole discretion (keeping your data), but
Quote
Termination of this Agreement shall not relieve you from any payment obligations that may have arisen prior to such termination, or any other obligations pursuant to any other agreement that has not been specifically terminated, such as a Content Upload Agreement or Content Download Agreement. The provisions of Sections 8, 10, 11, 13 and 15 shall survive the termination of this Agreement.

Payment obligations? I thought the site was "FREE".  ;D
« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 11:31 by FlemishDreams »

« Reply #59 on: May 24, 2009, 11:37 »
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Yeah, it is completely clear to me that the site is intended for data harvesting only. Otherwise there would be no business model behind it.

lisafx

« Reply #60 on: May 24, 2009, 13:11 »
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Well, I am sorry there was not more disclosure about how the images would be used.  I did collect my .50/image "donated", and they were only images that are already available for free on 123 and DT so I am not completely worked up over it. 

My own fault for not checking out the details and just assuming there would be links back to my port on Fotolia. 

Thanks Shadysue and FlemishDreams for checking out PhotoXpress from the buyer's perspective.  I am sorry to have my images connected with a data mining site, on the one hand, but on the other hand I am very relieved this is not going to be just wholesale distribution of free images. 

The worse deal it is for buyers the more likely they are to license images at legitimate micro outlets and pay the (very reasonable) prices that help us afford to keep making good images.

« Reply #61 on: May 24, 2009, 14:57 »
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I can't imagine that a serious site like Fotolia and a cofounder of iStock lend themselves to such a sharkish scheme. Are they that desperate?

Thanks ShadySue and Flemish for the detective work. Now I am starting to think it was a good idea not to have a link to FT!   :o

Hmm.  Maybe it's a company that purchased those images FT "paid" contributors for, with a nice profit to FT, so they can have content for their little scheme?


« Reply #62 on: May 24, 2009, 15:38 »
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I DON'T GET IT!

Why would Patrick Lor even expect contributors to upload their quality work 'to get out their names' if there IS NO NAME ON THE SITE?

« Reply #63 on: May 24, 2009, 19:32 »
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Well nothing surprises me with Fotolia as I mentioned in my previous thread.
I do not trust them one bit.

It's a real shame that good peoples work is being associated with a data capture scam. It's probably a good thing though that images are not credited.

« Reply #64 on: May 24, 2009, 20:19 »
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What really bothers me about this is: companies turn to tacky borderline scams like this when they're on the ropes.  This is a bad indication for Fotolia. 

« Reply #65 on: May 24, 2009, 21:23 »
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Nothing suggests it's a scam or fraudulent. Yes you will get free images (3), and if you want "more", well, you have to give your cellphone number. It's clearly stated in their TOS they can commercialize this content (your personal data) through "subsidiaries". These "subsidiaries" are just what they are. There is no guarantee at all they are related to photography. It can  be a real estate "bargain" company selling beach property in Nevada.

This "fine print" trick is a very well established procedure outside the net too, and it works with (a small?) percentage of gullible people that fail to read that "fine print". Many travel and luggage insurance contracts have a small clause at the back that laptops, jewelry, cash, cameras etc... are not covered by the contract.
Is that scam? No, since those clauses are there to read for all. They even make some sense, since not only big bad companies are after our money, but there are many consumer-sharks around too. It's all too easy to walk to a police station and claim your laptop has been "stolen", then cash in. In Europe, it was estimated that about 10% of the reported "theft" of luxury cars was insurance fraud.

It seems that PhotoXpress is just a clever way to monetize content on the outskirts of the Internet. For instance are "domain snatchers" sharks? Not really because they operate within the rules and regulations of the system in a very creative and slick way. A lot of money on the net is made by these players, but it's not scam.

For those interested how these clever players / soft sharks work, this story about awsurveys is quite instructive. It catched my attention since my collaborator here spent half a day writing reviews for them, "earning" 27$ quickly, then I googled on them... and he found out he wasted half a day.

Although perfectly legal, no serious company that is built on trust, like a microstock site, would take the risk being associated with these gray practices. It's still not understandable why Fotolia did it.
As Deep Throat said: follow the money. If PhotoXpress paid a lot of money for those images (as Matt claims) and they have no ads on the site and they give away their content for free, there must be a catch or the business model doesn't work. Will anybody with a better explanation than data mining  please stand up.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 21:29 by FlemishDreams »

lisafx

« Reply #66 on: May 25, 2009, 08:32 »
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Although perfectly legal, no serious company that is built on trust, like a microstock site, would take the risk being associated with these gray practices. It's still not understandable why Fotolia did it.
As Deep Throat said: follow the money. If PhotoXpress paid a lot of money for those images (as Matt claims) and they have no ads on the site and they give away their content for free, there must be a catch or the business model doesn't work. Will anybody with a better explanation than data mining  please stand up.

This is what I still don't understand either.  Why Fotolia would do this.  Perhaps they don't believe there will be any risk to their reputation?  Assuming (probably correctly) that buyers who are gullible enough to be sucked in to their data mining operation won't realize Fotolia is associated with PhotoXpress?

In addition to reselling the data acquired, perhaps their ultimate goal is to get a list of people who need low cost images and market Fotolia to them.  Could this be a way of opening up new buyer markets?  If so it would make more sense to offer the three images and then link to Fotolia if they want more. 

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #67 on: May 25, 2009, 08:54 »
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Nothing suggests it's a scam or fraudulent. Yes you will get free images (3),
Maybe you will, or maybe, like me, you'll get a 404 not found but it shows you've had a download.
Looks like a scam to me; but I'm not about to try again to be sure.  :o

« Reply #68 on: May 25, 2009, 09:06 »
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In addition to reselling the data acquired, perhaps their ultimate goal is to get a list of people who need low cost images and market Fotolia to them.  Could this be a way of opening up new buyer markets?  If so it would make more sense to offer the three images and then link to Fotolia if they want more. 

That makes sense.

« Reply #69 on: May 26, 2009, 03:41 »
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Why Fotolia would do this.  Perhaps they don't believe there will be any risk to their reputation? 

...they have a reputation? When did this happen?
Do you mean positive reputation?

lisafx

« Reply #70 on: May 26, 2009, 09:13 »
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Why Fotolia would do this.  Perhaps they don't believe there will be any risk to their reputation? 

...they have a reputation? When did this happen?
Do you mean positive reputation?

Yeah, I meant reputation among buyers. 

Obviously they haven't been concerned with their reputation among contributors for a long time ;)

Of course the buyout rumors posted in another thread could be the thing to shed light on all this...

« Reply #71 on: May 28, 2009, 18:40 »
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Another source:

http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/content_display/photo-news/stock-and-syndication/e3i82a4bef380199312e8e5a30d29baaf68

...Lor says contributors will be paid when their images are downloaded from the new service, but wouldnt say how much, noting that it varies depending on the source of the images. For now, most of the photographs are files that Fotolia members have agreed to opt-in to the service, Lor says. Fotolia plans to add more images from other collections.

...Lor says some photographers may try uploading popular work as a way to get their names out. ??? ??? Its really an exercise in seeing what works and what doesnt, Lor says.



P.S.

(Different conclusions about pricing,also in contradiction)


...The average price of stock image licenses has fallen drastically in the last few years. At one large stock agency, Alamy, the average price of a royalty-free image is down 21 percent in the last year.

But, Lee said:

I conclude that if my income isnt declining in line with this trend (which you can see in the top chart), then the sale price must be rising. That is, rising prices are the only reason Im not earning less and less in microstock. As Ive uploaded very little over the past two years, such a trend is to be expected.

http://www.microstockdiaries.com/page/2


WHERE IS THE TRUTH!??




Daryl has misinterpreted Pat's statements. The compensation in reference is the $0.50 donation fee Fotolia is offering of non-selling images.

The explanation for the opposing statements about pricing is that the first one is referencing "stock photos" while my reference is just "microstock".  Macro prices are dropping while micro prices are rising.

« Reply #72 on: May 28, 2009, 18:54 »
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The absence of links to Fotolia is part of a strategy to build the site before putting on the "hard sell".  It will come later. 

All agencies offer free photos as a lure.  Fotolia are taking it up a notch with PhotoXpress, and it'll eventually do the same as what Stock.XCHNG does for StockXpert.  The only real innovation here is the way it self-promotes through the Facebook integration and Refer-a-friend form.

I know Fotolia's reputation among contributors, and I've written some highly critical stuff about their practices in the past, but I don't have too much of an issue with this one.  If they can make it work (and it's within their capabilities) then it'll help Fotolia and (to a lesser but substantial extent) their contributors - us.


 

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